Today mother nature dealt us our first losing hand of the expedition, in that prevailing winds and swell conditions left all options for landings or Zodiac cruising untenable. Regardless of this we were still able to get glimpses of the striking features of the southernmost island in the Svalbard archipelago, which is home to nearly a million nesting seabirds from several species. After looking at several possible landing sites our expedition leader Russ Evans and our Captain Aaron Wood made the decision to set sail for Svalbard, where we could better use our time.

With a healthy compliment of northern fulmars and black-legged kittiwakes in tow we set our course further north. Another upside to our change in plans was the time it afforded to provide presentations on board. Our Global Perspective guest speaker Gregg Trienish gave a talk on some of the work his organization, Adventure Scientists, has done around the world. Later, naturalist and historian Peter Wilson gave an informative lecture on the history of whaling as it relates to not only Svalbard and Norway but worldwide. And David Berg provided us with an in-depth historical perspective of Svalbard, from the Vikings to post-World War II.

As a finale to the day our ship’s band, The Spice Boys, performed their usual eclectic set of popular songs after dinner. The main lounge was converted to a dance floor and the evening was a big hit.

Soon we’ll be in the Land of the Ice Bears. Stay tuned for further updates!